Another solid week for My Daughter Seo-young, which is seriously blowing me away with its tight story, amazing cast, beautiful camerawork, and assured editing. Seriously, it’s good stuff. If you haven’t started yet, do so noooow.
We pick up where we left off last episode, with Woo-jae dragging Seo-young to the police station. She says she’ll go in on her own will, thank you very much, which surprises Woo-jae. He angrily asks why she doesn’t beg for mercy, and she spits back that she’d rather explain her circumstances before the law than someone like him – someone who’s arrogant because his parents are rich and who thinks everyone is below him. Ooh, score Seo-young. Love that he wavers between anger and uncertainty – it’s his hotheaded temper vs. his growing attraction for her. Just as he moves to the police station doors, dragging Seo-young by the wrist, the detective (on the case) comes out and asks if he has caught the culprit. Woo-jae hesitates, then looks down in surprise at Seo-young’s shaking hand…
Sang-woo goes out to meet Mi-kyung, but her mama boy boyfriend makes a surprise appearance, so they take a rain check for their drinks date. He remembers that Ho-jung said she’d wait for him and finds her sleeping in the waiting area. Lol. She asks him to date her, and he turns her down flat. Aww, poor thing.
Seo-young comes home (he didn’t turn her in?! eeee!) totes out of it, and Woo-jae watches her with a million emotions swirling through his mind. Flashback to the police station: Just as Woo-jae starts to say, “This woman is –” Seo-young grabs his arm, and he makes up a bogus story about her getting engaged to him under false pretenses. Omo, is that your subconscious speaking??? She’s your fiancée?! He pries off her fingers, one by one (just like she did before), and says he did it for Sung-jae. She says she’ll pay him back if she can’t find the motorcycle, and he’s speechless at her gall. Back at home, the two sign a contract: Seo-young has one week to find the motorcycle, and if she doesn’t bring it back, she’ll assume all costs (including a trip to the police). There’s a cute moment when she says she doesn’t know his name, and he sees that indeed there are blanks where his name should be on the contract. Girlfriend, are you telling me the Oppa scene meant nothing to you?!
The next morning, Sung-jae sings his teacher’s praises and Woo-jae says he’s leaving tomorrow evening for America – without finding the motorcycle thief. Everyone is confused by the uncharacteristic behavior while Papa Kang is just frustrated that Woo-jae isn’t staying in Korea.
Ho-jung goes to visit Papa Lee (under the excuse of looking for her lost earring) and drives him to his new temporary workplace: an old-school nightclub.
Director Choi is forced to cancel his dinner date with Ho-jung and his wife to pay respects to a colleague in President Kang’s stead. He overhears people gossiping about him toadying up to his friend President Kang… Sad panda.
Woo-jae meets up with his friend and by chance sees the “hidden camera” show Seo-young was filming. Everything finally clicks into place – the skanky outfit, Sung-jae’s comment that his teacher didn’t have a single dollar in her wallet, her refusal to smile… He sees Seo-young suffering all kinds of indignities and hardships and his heart hurts. To make matters worse, he recalls all the harsh things he said to her…
Papa Lee is told part of his job is to go out on the street and attract customers to the nightclub. He doesn’t want to do such a demeaning job (especially at his age), but he coincidentally sees Seo-young’s TV show and, his heart breaking, quickly says he’ll do the job.
Seo-young tells Sung-jae that she, too, gets nervous, angry, and scared, but she just endures it and moves on. Woo-jae overhears everything, and when she comes out of Sung-jae’s room, he apologizes to her for his callous words last night (the police station).
The next day, Seo-young is at the library looking through the CCTV footage (to find the real thief) when she’s told there’s someone looking for her. It’s Woo-jae, who demands compensation for the emotional stress and time he lost because of her. Hahahahaa you are too cute. Since his bike was another part of him, accompanying him everywhere he went, he demands that Seo-young stand in for his bike. Eeee! He takes her to a fancy traditional Korean restaurant (and by traditional, I mean full-on twenty bajillion course meals) and tells her not to waste his money. His motorcycle uses premium fuel, not cheap-o stuff, ya know. It’s SO cute how he breaks into the sweetest smile watching her eat, then goes back to his nonchalant/annoyed face whenever she looks up at him. Heeee! Having successfully fed her ’til she’s ready to pop, he takes her to a nice movie theater – not the mainstream kind but one for “serious” students of film like him. LOL. The theater is completely empty but for the two of them, and the dim lighting + boring movie create the perfect setting for food coma to set in. Seo-young nods off, and Woo-jae raises his hand, signaling for the volume to be killed. Omona you CUTE SWEEEETIE!!! You planned this so she would sleep?!?! Eee! Seo-young momentarily wakes up but falls right back asleep, and Woo-jae sees his memories of Seo-young flash across the silver screen. So. Cute.
President Kang is hilariously frustrated when he learns Woo-jae has pushed back his flight yet again. He thinks Woo-jae is playing cat and mouse games with him, and it seriously cracks me up. And awwww that Woo-jae pushed back his flight to spend time with Seo-young.
Back at the movie theater, Woo-jae has fallen asleep as well, and Seo-young wakes up to see him leaning on her shoulder, softly snoring. Hahahaa. His response when she wakes him up? “Ah, what a good movie.” LOLOL. He gives a little spiel about the themes and artistry and whatnot and Seo-young awkwardly tries not to laugh. Aww, you know how to laugh? He tells his ‘motorcycle’ to stop arguing and just follow him. Heee!
Their destination turns out to be a drums exhibition/show, and Woo-jae is chosen to join the drummers on stage. He’s hilariously bad and the leader asks his partner to drum in Woo-jae’s stead. Eeeee, you planned this, didn’t you?! Seo-young reluctantly joins them on the stage and quickly picks up the rhythm, losing herself in the happiness and excitement of the moment. The swelling music and beautiful smile and just eeeverything almost makes me tear up. I know, I’m a watering pot, but for seriously it’s really sweet. Woo-jae takes a picture of her enjoying herself, sharing in her joy.
The car ride back home is awkward and tense… Hehehe Seo-young, are you fiiinally beginning to recognize your feelings? He thanks her for enduring the tough day, and she says she only ate, slept, and laughed – there wasn’t anything hard she did. “You ate, slept, and laughed? Then that’s enough,” he responds. Eeeee!! She’s not sure why he isn’t punishing her, and he says she sure is a difficult person – she could have explained all the circumstances surrounding the motorcycle ‘theft’. Instead, she made him a heartless monster. He pulls over and gives her a heartfelt, sincere apology for everything until now, not sparing himself in any way. She accepts his apology and even tells him his switching back to jondae (formal) speech is awkward. EEEEEEE!!!
They arrive at home and he tells her to wait three minutes before coming in – that way, she can slip upstairs amidst the ruckus. She’s confused, but we all know it’s gonna be an epic showdown between President Kang and Woo-jae. Sure enough, they have their daily shouting match, and Woo-jae says he’s leaving for realsies tomorrow. Hmm, we’ll see about that! He gets a call from the detective – they’ve found the motorcycle thief, and Woo-jae furiously yells at the thief for making an innocent person’s life difficult. Heh heh heh.
He comes back home and barges into Seo-young’s room. He can’t use her as his motorcycle anymore since he’s leaving tomorrow, so he demands a different agreement: She eats her meals at the Kang home. Heheeheheee! The next morning, Seo-young awkwardly stands at the entrance to the dining room and Woo-jae pushes her in. It’s super awkward but so cuuuute. Sung-jae tries to give her an expensive, tasty side dish but epically fails. Heee. Seo-young makes a hasty exit, and Mama Kang complains that it’s so awkward. Upset that Seo-young still isn’t able to eat properly as he wishes, Woo-jae announces that he’s not going to New York today. LOLOL this is just too funny. And President Kang is going bonkers.
Seo-young finally finds the thief in the CCTV footage and runs to meet Woo-jae at the park near their home. He’s pleasantly surprised that’s she’s so happy to see him, but his face quickly falls when she excitedly tells him she’s found the thief. Awww and heee. He wants to eat first (Awww) but she’s not willing to wait, and he resignedly tells her (1) he’s not going to America tonight and (2) he already found his motorcycle and the thief. She’s shocked and demands to know why he didn’t tell her.
Woo-jae: I don’t know. Why didn’t I tell you I that I found my motorcycle? If I told you, I wouldn’t be able to use you as my motorcycle substitute.
Seo-young: Is that it? Did you like dragging me around as your motorcycle substitute?!
Woo-jae: Yes, I liked it. I liked that I was able to feed you at home and make you play with me, using the motorcycle as an excuse. Why would I be doing this? I hate my father’s company and hate raising his hopes even more. Why, then, would I have pushed back going to America again? Why do I want to make Lee Seo-young eat home-cooked meals, get proper sleep, and de-stress through laughter? [He steps toward her] Why do you think I’m acting this way, smart Sung-jae’s Teacher?
Seo-young falters at Woo-jae’s awesome, barely-veiled declaration, but she responds in her usual fashion. She tells a story of how she once befriended a poor girl at school. In the end, she realized it was just pity and curiosity – she hadn’t actually been a friend to the girl, she had just liked her generous self. Woo-jae, though disappointed, is not one to cave, and he later mutters to himself, “Kang Woo-jae, you’re in big trouble.” Heee! Seo-young wonders to herself if Woo-jae could really like her but brushes off the ridiculous idea. Not so fast, girly!
Papa Lee gets promoted to Hall Manager at the nightclub – he’s attracting lots of ladies with his good looks. Hee! The next morning, he tells Sang-woo to call his sister so they can all eat together. Miss Sister, however, is being browbeaten by Woo-jae to eat breakfast with the family as per their agreement. Sung-jae knocks on Seo-young’s door and she hurriedly hides Woo-jae behind her clothes rack. Heeee! That you feel the need to hide him says a lot about how you feeeel~!! Sung-jae convinces her to come downstairs to eat, but Sang-woo calls just then and she chooses the lesser of two evils – go see Papa Lee.
The Lee family breakfasts together, and Papa Lee gives Seo-young an allowance. She angrily refuses it, telling him she doesn’t want his money, she doesn’t want his concern, she doesn’t want anything from him. As per Seo-young protocol, she storms out, and Sang-woo tries to cheer her up. Though he refuses, she gives him money for his last semester’s tuition and heads off.
Over at the Kang residence, Mama Kang and Sung-jae are dancing together to “When a Man Loves a Woman.” LOLOLOLOL!! Sung-jae goes up to his room to study, but not before thanking “Ji-seon-sshi” for a lovely dance. Hhahahaaa! Secretary Yoon suggests healthy foods for Sung-jae, and I get the sinking feeling that [SPOILER ALERT] she’s his birth mom. I’ll explain more below. [SPOILER END]
Sang-woo has trouble with an annoying celebrity (cameo by singer/actress Lee Ji-hye) but Mi-kyung deftly uses her smarts to get the message across. He marvels at her cunning and they agree to go for drinks later that night.
Papa Lee is at work and Ho-jung visits him to ask about Sang-woo. She’s such a ditz, but she’s so harmless and bears no ill will that you can’t help but feel bad for her. And it’s nice that at least someone is reaching out to Papa Lee.
Mi-kyung and Sang-woo enjoy yummies and soju, and she tells him about her first love. He was a doctor who rescued her when she had appendicitis, and that’s when she decided to become a doctor as well. Her story is left unfinished to torment us viewers. Sang-woo, meanwhile, seems to be interested in her…
Sung-jae is up late studying like never before, much to Woo-jae’s surprise. Woo-jae barges into Seo-young’s room to “get something” but the real mission was to leave a sandwich for her. Altogether, everyone: Awwwww.
The day of the Fashion Show arrives, and Sung-jae tells Seo-young he’s ready to kick butt. Woo-jae also came, and he sits next to Seo-young but she moves away. He follows her again and she demands to know why he’s making her uncomfortable like this. He’s happy to have progressed from the “hate” category to “uncomfortable,” and she asks why he’s not going to America. He responds, “It’s not that I’m not going to America, it’s that I can’t. I’m determined to see you eat, sleep, and laugh at our house before I leave.” Eee! He continues, “It’s basic for humans to eat, sleep, laugh, cry, and get angry. But why do I want to see that so badly?” She tells him to cut it out for reals, but he plows on. “Lee Seo-young. I think I know, now, why I’m like this.” She tells him to do whatever he wants, then, and he asks, “Can I really do whatever I want?” Eeeek eeek eeeek!
Sung-jae finally struts his stuff down the runway buuut totes embarrasses himself and trips on stage. Poor thing. Woo-jae and Seo-young take him out for pizza afterwards and Seo-young lavishes him with rare praise. He gets a tummy ache, though, from eating too much too quickly and ends up leaving our cuties on their own. Seo-young tells Woo-jae to go on ahead, and he agrees, much to her surprise. Hehehee it’s cute how she was subconsciously expecting (and wanting!) to get dragged along. They head off their separate ways… but of course that lasts all of two seconds. Woo-jae calls her over, asking to borrow money – he didn’t bring any cash with him, and he already ate most of his ice cream cone. She hands over the money, and he hands her a cone – he bought two but they’re already melting, so he needs her help. So cute how happy he is seeing her eat something as simple as an ice cream cone. He drags her along, asking to borrow money for this and that, and even pulls her in when someone almost bumps into her. Heee!
Alas, happy times never last very long in Kdramaland. The Evil Witch has arrived to play spoilsport. Sigh. It’s Sun-woo, long-time friend of Mi-kyung and wannabe-girlfriend of Woo-jae. She tells Mama and President Kang she made her surprise appearance to discuss something with Woo-jae, and she’ll be sleeping over at their house, thank you very much. Sigh. My blood is starting to curdle already.
Woo-jae shows the back of a photo to Seo-young, telling her it’s the person whom he unintentionally became leg-shackled by. Heee! The term is literally “get my ankle caught” and it’s used much like “leg-shackled” is in English, though not exclusively for a guy getting married… He finally reveals the picture, and it’s of Seo-young, laughing while playing the drums. He says it’s a good thing she didn’t go around smiling and laughing like that on a normal basis, because it makes her beautiful. She’s dumbfounded, and he tells her he’s even more dumbfounded (by his attraction to her). OHMYGAWSH WHY ARE YOU SO CUUUTE?!?!
Sung-jae waits at the entrance to their home, writing Seo-young’s name in the cement with a rock. Aww, your poor little heart. He remembers all her praise earlier that day and can’t get them out of his head… Seo-young walks into her room to find a freshly-showered Sun-woo sitting on the bed, toweling off her hair. Ugh. Both women are like “Who are you?” and Woo-jae walks in just then with a gift for Seo-young. Auuuugh. He’s shocked to see Sun-woo, and she puts her arms around him, kissing him on the cheek for good measure. SOMEONE GET ME MY GUN. He pulls her off him, asking what the heck is going on, and she says she asked “Mother and Father” to keep her arrival a secret. “You [dangshin] told me to cooome~” she whines. MY GUN, PLEASE. NOOOOW. Awkward introductions are made, and Woo-jae drags Sun-woo out of the room. Seo-young looks… forlorn.
Woo-jae had said he was “coming tomorrow” then kept pushing back his trip without explanation. What else was she (Sun-woo) to understand that as but “Come to Korea, Sun-woo”? Argh. Woo-jae agrees (why?!) with her rindonkulous logic and apologizes for his “mistake.” Heh heh heh. She asks what the reason was for delaying his trip, and he answers, “I came to like someone here.” YEEEE! He tells her he’s serious, that he hadn’t told her because it took him a while to understand his own feelings. His warning just serves as more motivation for her, though. Sigh.
The next morning Woo-jae comes down to eat but sees that Seo-young isn’t at the table. Disappointed, he heads out, and Sun-woo decides to drop the bomb while he’s gone: She wants to marry Woo-jae. OHMYGAWSH WHERE IS MY GUN?!?! Mama Kang says something like this should be discussed with Woo-jae first (Sun-woo admitted they never agreed to get married), but President Kang seems to be all for it. Especially since Sun-woo promises to drag Woo-jae back to Korea once they get married. The trump card. Lady is freaking annoying, but she ain’t dumb. Mama Kang tells hubby that she’s opposed to Sun-woo – she wants Woo-jae to marry for love. Did I mention how much I love her???
Seo-young is studying at the library when Woo-jae shows up and asks her to eat breakfast. He wheedles adorably and she grudgingly gives in. They eat in silence, and afterwards, Woo-jae tells her to go study hard. Round comes 12:30 and Woo-jae pops up again, asking her to eat lunch. He asks if she’s upset because of Sun-woo and explains that Sun-woo is Mi-kyung’s friend. They knew each other since they were young and became close while studying together in New York (she’s a law school student). Seo-young says she doesn’t know why he’s telling her all this, and he repeats that Sun-woo is just his sister’s friend. Seo-young bites back, “Does a sister’s friend say ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’?” Amused, Woo-jae asks if that upset her. “I wonder why that made you angry,” he says. Hee! She acts as though it doesn’t matter but Woo-jae sees through it all.
Woo-jae: (teasingly) You should have asked me, “Who is that woman? What is your relationship to her?”
Seo-young: Why should I?
Woo-jae: (teasingly) It’s because you’re desperate to ask, “You acted as though you liked me when you had someone (a woman) like that?” But you’re restraining yourself (from asking the question), and it’s making you angry.
Seo-young: Did it never occur to you that I’m not asking because I’m not curious enough to ask?
Woo-jae: (seriously) That’s enough. Because I won’t make you have to even wonder.
Seo-young: If it’s for my sake, you don’t need to explain.
Woo-jae: It’s for my sake.
Aaand, we cut to Ho-jung. Noooo I want to hear the rest of the conversation! Ho-jung stalks Sang-woo at the hospital and gets caught when she cries out in pain after wrenching her neck (trying to avoid getting discovered). He patches her up, and she cries in embarrassment and sorrow. He gently hands her a handkerchief, and the poor girl’s heart just becomes more fully entrenched in Sang-woo-land.
Woo-jae comes home and is shocked to hear that Sun-woo dropped the M (marriage) bomb. Dinner time rolls around, and Seo-young finds herself waiting for Woo-jae to show up. AWWWWWW. And drats darned it, it’s just gonna make it worse when she finds out Woo-jae was held up by the witch! Sure enough, Woo-jae is talking to Sun-woo, demanding to know if he ever promised her something like marriage. Did he ever tell her he loved her? The girl is not to be deterred, but Woo-jae tells her not to call his parents “Mother” and “Father,” and to go stay somewhere else. Heee!
Uuunfortunately, Seo-young comes in just as Woo-jae and Sun-woo are heading out. *face palm* Seo-young uncharacteristically can’t concentrate while tutoring Sung-jae. She gets a text from Woo-jae, asking her to meet him at the park after eating the food he left for her, but she ignores it.
President Kang comes home and orders Woo-jae to marry Sun-woo. Woo-jae obviously can’t explain that he does have someone he wants to marry, and that there is a real reason he kept pushing back his trip. Since all of President Kang’s logic seems to be based on Woo-jae not going to America, Woo-jae says he’ll leave immediately. But at the thought of Seo-young, he hangs up on the travel agency.
Early the next morning, Woo-jae is waiting for Seo-young when she steps out the front gate. He takes her to the Han River (another staple of Kdramaland) and says he heard her dream isn’t to be a federal prosecutor or judge, but to be a private (defense) attorney so she can make a lot of money. It’s a relief that her motivation is money. He turns to face her and says, “Lee Seo-young. If your dream isn’t to be a great lawyer, come to America with me.” EEEEEE!! She has no idea what’s going on, and he tells her, “I can’t not go, and I can’t leave you behind. So let’s go to America together.” AAAAAACCCCKKKKK!!!!!
Omona omona omona omomomomomo. I. Can’t. Believe. What. Just. Happened. Eeeeeee!! What is it about weekend family shows that make me absolutely crazy?!
This show is seriously clipping along at a verrry good pace, almost to the point where I’m wondering if there will be enough story left over by Episode 30, much less Episode 50. But based on the amaztasticness that has captured me thus far, I’m willing to put my trust in this production team to do this show justice. The only fly in the ointment: the writer is So Hyeon-kyeong, who penned 49 Days and Brilliant Legacy, among others. I point out these two works because I was NOT a fan of either of them. (Sorry all you Brilliant Legacy lovers – that show drove me nuts. As for 49 Days: I’d like to meet someone who wasn’t burned by it.) Nonetheless, I’d like to think my Pinkblossom Radar has found a winner in Seo-young and am hoping for the best.
I’ll talk about the ‘side’ characters first: A lot of people are hating on Ho-jung, and I understand why. That being said, I stand by my opinion that she and Sang-woo are actually cute together. Yes, she’s a major ditz. Yes, she oftentimes makes me cringe in embarrassment. Yes, feminists prolly have a bounty on her head. But underneath all the fluff, she’s got a heart of gold, and her feelings for Sang-woo are genuine. She just doesn’t know how to express them in a socially ‘acceptable’ manner – but even what we consider ‘acceptable’ isn’t necessarily right, and it isn’t an excuse to rule her feelings unworthy. Until now, Sang-woo has just treated her as a mildly annoying younger sibling, but I think he’ll soon see Ho-jung’s ‘worth.’ He needs someone soft and feminine like Ho-jung, and I loved the handkerchief scene this week. Already, we’re seeing a different, softer side to him. Once he falls for her, they’re gonna be super cute – I guarantee it.
Papa Lee. Once again, people hate on him, but I feel so sorry for him. He defs messed up the past 10+ years, but at the heart of it was love for his family and his desire to provide for them. He’s trying so hard right now, and I know it’s gonna take a while for Seo-young to come around, but I can’t help but wish for reconciliation to happen sooner. Plus, I just love Chun Ho-jin.
Now, the maknae Sung-jae. [SPOILER ALERT!!] The official website says Mama Kang and Sung-jae’s relationship will show “the love developed for a child by raising him/her.” That raises major red flags on the Pinkblossom Radar. It’s tantamount to saying Mama Kang didn’t give birth to him. Then who could be his biological mother? My guess is Secretary Yoon. In an earlier episode, President Kang asked her why she was always so concerned about Sung-jae, and there’s something just not quite right whenever she’s around him. It was really apparent in Episode 6 with the dancing scene (btw, LOLOL). She looked at him so longingly, following him with her eyes as he headed upstairs. I was trying to figure out how in the world Mama Kang would have adopted him, and the madre thinks Secretary Yoon might have left the baby at the Kang’s residence. It wasn’t uncommon back in the day for destitute people to leave their children at the doorstep of uber rich families, hoping those families would give their children a better life. If that’s what Secretary Yoon did, then she prolly chose to become President Kang’s secretary so that she could be near her son. It’s all speculation at this point, but I think it’s got a good chance of being the truth. We’ll see! [END SPOILER]
Last but not least, my faaaavorite OTP. These two are SO. CUTE. They’re seriously rivaling my Weekend OTP King & Queen, Han Jung-won (Kim Hyun-joo) and Song Seung-joon (Kim Seok-hoon) of All that Glitters aka Twinkle aka Sparkling aka 반짝반짝 빛나는. They were seriously SO CUTE. But back to Seo-young. I love that both Woo-jae and Seo-young are fiery, hot-tempered individuals. No one has gotten even close to besting either of them, but they totally get to each other. I love it. And I love love looove Kang Woo-jae. He’s cocky, he’s spoiled, and he’s arrogant. But he’s fair and just, and he’s confident enough in himself to sincerely apologize when he’s in the wrong. He’s not the typical first-class jerk of Kdramaland, and part of the difference is that Seo-young isn’t afraid to give as good as she gets. Plus, how cute is it that his greatest mission in life is to feed Seo-young? Absolutely adorable. He’s straight-forward and clear in his intentions (minus the little excuses to feed Seo-young), and he isn’t afraid to declare his feelings. What more could you ask for?! These two are gonna be the bestestest, and I am SO excited for all that is to come.